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Diversification of cocoa farms in Côte d'Ivoire: complementarity of and competition from rubber rent

Ruf F.. 2015. In : Ruf François (ed.), Schroth Götz (ed.). Economics and ecology of diversification: the case of tropical tree crops. Dordrecht : Springer, Ed. Quae, p. 41-86.

The diversification model proposed in Chapter 1 emphasizes ecological change after a few decades of quasi-monoculture. Is it also a primary determinant of diversification for the world's leading producer of cocoa? In the early-to-mid 2010s, cocoa production in Côte d'Ivoire is above 1.5 million tonnes per year. This growth dynamic is mainly explained by the universal model of cocoa economies: new migrations leading to massive clearing of forests. The decline of the old cocoa farms rarely appears in statistics due to the massive new planting mostly at the expense of the last pockets of forests. However, in the old cocoa and coffee regions, the lure of rubber and oil palm cultivation has increasingly gone hand in hand with lower cocoa yields, the fight against insect damage and diseases, and difficulties of replanting. It has led to the clearing of cocoa plantations or the cultivation of rubber in the understory of old cocoa trees waiting to be felled. In addition to factors of price and public policy (for example, the creation of a hybrid oil palm and clonal rubber sectors in the 1960s), the process of diversification was partly driven by deforestation and exhaustion of the forest rent. For many smallholders, even more than markets and cocoa prices which need a serious stimulus, and besides the land conflicts, the answer rests on the ability of research and the chocolate industry to come up with technological advances applicable at low cost to help them to solve the universal problems of cocoa replanting. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : secteur agroindustriel; développement rural; Économie agricole; déboisement; revenu forestier; elaeis guineensis; hevea brasiliensis; diversification; theobroma cacao; côte d'ivoire

Thématique : Economie et politique agricoles; Economie et politique du développement; Agro-industrie

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